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Aleksander Rakic vs Thiago Santos Predictions

05 March 2021

UFC Predictions with TJ Calkins

Aleksander Rakic -155 vs Thiago Santos

Fight is at 205 lbs and is -195 to end inside the distance.

Betting Play: Santos +135

Time can be a helluva thing in terms of forgetting what a monster certain fighters are. That certainly seems to be the case here, as Thiago Santos is being something of disrespected as an underdog against Aleksander Rakic.

It was just two fights ago that Rakic dropped a controversial decision to Volkan Oezdemir before bouncing back to an easy win against the overrated Anthony Smith.

On the other side, it was just three fights ago that Thiago “Marreta” Santos slept current champ Jan Blachowicz. Marreta additionally took a judge’s scorecard with a blown out knee for five rounds against Jon Jones, and was a victim of Glover Teixeira’s uncanny ability to find a finish while being completely rocked in his last fight.

I remain firm in thinking that Marreta is the most dynamic striker in all of MMA, and this relative step down in competition will be a bounce back spot for Marreta to remind the world just who he is.

Rakic is dangerous and brings a rounded skill set, and could win this fight via top control if he is able to take the fight down, but he brings a huge problem for himself in this matchup.

He leaves his chin hanging out there in striking exchanges. The reason this is being overlooked is because it has not caught up with him to date, but he has also not fought truly dangerous strikers.

Marreta is such a massive step up in competition for Rakic, and while he has a bright future, this is a fight where his durability will absolutely be truly tested, and I believe it will fail.

Now that Marreta is fully recovered from the knee injury in the Jon Jones fight, and has a ring rust breaking fight under his belt, look for him to realign himself in the light heavyweight title picture.

✅ The ITD line on Marreta is +180, which essentially brings no value versus the flat line of +135. While I do expect a KO and for the world to be reminded of just how dangerous Marreta is, the prudent play is taking the flat line of +135.

Betting Play: Santos +135

UFC Predictions at USsportsbonus.com

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